Sign The Open Letter: Ban Plastic Bags

GOAL: 2,000

Dear Minister,

Environment ministers have been discussing the issue of removing plastic bags from the litter stream and...

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Dear Minister,

Environment ministers have been discussing the issue of removing plastic bags from the litter stream and marine environment for long enough.

Every Australian wants our stunning rivers, oceans and waterways to have a clean and healthy future. Plastic pollution infests waterways, clogging them with plastic bags, packaging and microbeads.  In Australia, the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimated there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline.

The tripartisan 2016 Senate Inquiry into Marine Plastic Pollution urged Australian state and federal governments to ban plastic bags and microbeads as a matter of urgency.

Tasmania, the ACT, the Northern Territory and South Australia have already banned single use plastic bags and can improve their legislation to include 'so-called biodegradable' bags which are just as big a problem in the marine environment as conventional plastic bags.

We are calling on Environment Ministers in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia to catch up and take immediate action by banning single use plastic bags (including so-called biodegradable bags). 

Plastic pollution is lethal. We need strong action now.


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Will you sign?

In July 2017 Environment Ministers are meeting to discuss what to do about plastic bags.

Tasmania, the ACT, The Northern Territory and South Australia have already banned single use plastic bags and Queensland is introducing a ban in July 2018.

We're making sure when they meet that the NSW, Victorian and WA Ministers know there is huge community support for taking action on plastic bags. We've joined with 49 community and environment groups, representing thousands of members, to write an open letter demanding greater action. Add your name to the open letter today to let the ministers know you support a ban on plastic bags.  

There is increasing evidence that even though a small percentage of bags are littered and then broken up into smaller and smaller pieces – they have a devastating impact on the environment. This includes so called ‘biodegradable’ bags, which are just as dangerous in the marine environment.

With the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimating there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline – and a large legacy of plastic from previous years becoming microplastic – action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.

Plastic pollution is a major threat to wildlife. Globally it is estimated that 1 million sea birds and over 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement. Of great concern are the secondary microplastics derived from broken up bags and bottles.

We estimate that some 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year.

Read the full letter and our policy recommendations here

Thanks to our partners who joined the open letter. 

Showing 1710 reactions

  • Joy Hunter
    signed 2015-12-08 12:09:19 +1100
  • Janis Bray
    signed 2015-12-08 12:08:50 +1100
    It is time to ban single use plastic bags right now, what a thoughtless practice this is. We should be ashamed.
  • Tessa & Daniel Nelson
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-08 12:08:20 +1100
    I just signed the open letter calling on Environment Ministers to ban single use plastic bags.
  • Sue Templeton
    signed 2015-12-08 12:06:35 +1100
  • Blake Munting
    signed via 2015-12-08 11:59:57 +1100
  • Jennifer Scott
    signed 2015-12-08 11:57:17 +1100
    Something which has such devastating outcomes in our marine environment with such straight forward solutions it seems a no brainer not to act.
  • Adrian Ball
    signed 2015-12-08 11:55:49 +1100
  • Karen Reed
    signed 2015-12-08 11:47:19 +1100
  • Cheryl Schaffer
    signed 2015-12-08 11:36:39 +1100
    There’s already been too much damage done as a result of plastic litter. Let’s give our planet and our marine life a fighting chance. Ban single use plastic bags now!
  • Lurline McCulloch
    signed 2015-12-08 11:36:02 +1100
  • Shelley Van wyk
    signed 2015-12-08 11:34:56 +1100
    It is up to us the human race to do everything that we can to preserve the health of this amazing planet as well as all the beautiful creatures on it!
  • Peter Radonyi
    signed 2015-12-08 11:31:21 +1100
  • Dennis O'Connell
    signed 2015-12-08 11:24:02 +1100
    We do not want our marine animal population ingesting plastic bags which can be lethal. Large amounts of plastic including small particles are entering the food chain and will eventually find its way onto our plates via the seafood we eat. These potentially toxic petroleum based products are increasingly permeating our rivers, waterways including rivers, streams, bays and eventually, our oceans.
  • Tony Wallace
    signed 2015-12-08 11:23:38 +1100
  • Katie Bryant
    signed 2015-12-08 11:21:07 +1100
  • Josiane Renee Lynch
    signed 2015-12-08 11:20:53 +1100
    I have to say that I also worry about the

    effect of disposable nappies on the environment; and similar products.
  • Mike Parsons
    signed 2015-12-08 11:16:58 +1100
  • Jan Brown
    signed 2015-12-08 11:15:59 +1100
  • Robin Brown
    signed 2015-12-08 11:14:02 +1100
  • Bronwen Williams
    signed 2015-12-08 11:12:39 +1100
    So many supermarkets around the world are using ‘recyclable materials’ for their bags, its time Australia caught up!
  • Kenneth Dovey
    signed 2015-12-08 11:11:56 +1100
    Please address the marine plastic debris epidemic before the damage done to sea life and the marine environment becomes irreversible.
  • Ada Winifred Johns
    signed 2015-12-08 11:08:28 +1100
  • Martina Meyer
    signed 2015-12-08 11:08:28 +1100
  • Fiona Ryan
    signed 2015-12-08 10:57:52 +1100
  • Julie Smith
    signed 2015-12-08 10:52:08 +1100
    It is easy to go plastic bag free. I have been using my own shopping bags for about 10 years. I keep 2 small foldable shopping bags in my handbag, and a number of larger (Woolies) bags in my car.
  • Lumir Cech
    signed 2015-12-08 10:49:05 +1100
  • Robynne Burchell
    signed 2015-12-08 10:46:21 +1100
    Such a small act would make a huge difference to the safety of our precious marine environment,please ban the use of plastic bags.
  • Scott Webb
    signed 2015-12-08 10:44:36 +1100
  • Trevor Knuckey
    signed 2015-12-08 10:43:12 +1100
    They do too much harm. Ban them.
  • Terry Nagle
    signed 2015-12-08 10:41:13 +1100
    We have to stop this sometime. We did survive before plastic bags and we can again!